Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Harry Potter and Kjos Ministries

[Sí, prometí tratar de traducir todos los posts, pero no se aplica a aquellos en los que cito extensamente a otras personas. Regla número 2.718]

Are you tired of fundie reviewers that say Harry Potter is evil and it leads children into the occult? Don't answer, I don't care. Point is, I am. So when I read this from the website of Kjos Ministries, I was annoyed. And what do I do when I'm annoyed at something that's both stupid and blatantly wrong? What you will see in this post.

First of all, I'd like to leave something clear. A big part of the arguments shown rely on the fact that Harry Potter has elements of magic that are similar to those in occult circles, and that somehow is evil. Bullshit. Fantasy shows fantastical elements, what a shocker. And those elements are sometimes drawn from mythology, so will obviously have some similarities with pagan beliefs. That in no way implies that reading about them will convert you to paganism. Now that's out of the way, let's go point by point.

The story of Harry Potter is an allegory: It is written and packaged to look like fantasy when, in truth, it is a carefully written true description of the training and work of an initiate in an occult order.[When exactly did you sit down with JK Rowling and discuss the true meaning behind her books?]

In every instance, everything Harry does is an extension of his belief system.[Hard to know, considering Harry's religious beliefs are never discussed in the books] His foundation is in magic through will. The concept that magick is an extension of will is a foundational occult truth [and also a very common element in mythology] and is diametrically opposed to the Christian concept of will where every born again believer’s individual will is brought into submission under Christ.[That's funny, kinda negates the whole "free will" thing that supposedly stops God from manipulating us as he likes]

Everything that Harry learns is immediately applied to his life and practiced over and over. [Immediately? Hardly. A large part of what he learns only becomes significant a few books later. If your problem is that he puts into practice everything he learns, then I have news for you: This is a book. Introducing irrelevant information is not the best narrative style] Harry learns that everything he thinks, says or does is an act of magick. This concept in magick is written out through the exercises that he does while at Hogwarts School for Wizardry and Witchcraft. [Huh, I kinda missed that while reading. Mind pointing it out for me? Oh, and it's "Witchcraft and Wizardry". Ladies first]

Christians should be discipled that their belief system is the foundation of everything that they think, do and say. The fact is that everything we think, do and say is an extension of our belief system. It is dangerous to suspend our belief system when it comes to judging the value of what we give our children to “read for entertainment.” [It's much more dangerous to have a belief system that considers reading fantasy about magic is evil, but a book filled with genocide, rape, graphic violence, and torture is all fine and good]

Harry Potter is instilled with the traits of “Every Man.” There are characteristics of Harry Potter that every kid will identify with.[Classic literary device] Kids will defend Harry’s choices and actions as justifiable. [And I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that they are].The author is very successful in evoking strong sympathy and empathy for Harry in her readers. The books teach situation ethics rather than absolute values of right and wrong that are taught in the scriptures.[I never saw the scriptures as something you should draw your morals from. You know, with the whole "stone a disobedient child to death" and "force a rape victim to marry the rapist" things]

What is important to emphasize is that words have meaning and power. Words influence culture. It is impossible to read something and not be effected by it or learn something from it.[If you include "having fun" or "anger" as effects, then that's true. Completely irrelevant, but true] It is not only foolish but it is also dangerous to dismiss the indoctrination of the adventures of Harry Potter with the excuse, “It’s ONLY fiction,” “it’s JUST a book,” something without a real agenda. The agenda of J. K. Rowling is very real — she is writing to instill in children a familiarity with occult truth — she just clothed it in fun [Again, how exactly do you know this? Are you psychic? Did she explain her diabolical plan to you, in a classic "Villain Monologue" situation?]

For the non-Christian, there is nothing wrong with this story.[No need to tell me that] For the Christian, what the author writes is considered an abomination by the LORD.[You know, not every Christian shares your delusions about the occult. Many of them are even rational human beings!] (Deut. 18) See the following!

Harry Potter Books 1, 2 & 3

The Occult Parallel

Book 1, page 51: Harry is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where:
  • Harry is an initiate
  • Harry is learning witchcraft
  • Harry is learning to conquer fear.
A person is INVITED to join an occult order
  • The story line aligns with real occult books written by renowned occultist Gavin and Yvonne Frost.
  • The Training Work of the Initiate, by William Gray

I was invited to join a church many times. Was that actually an occult group?

The first book is called, “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.” Occultists use sorcerers’ stones to transmute substances from one to another

The Philospher's Stone was a mythical artifact alchemists seeked. Those pesky laws of physics prevented it from working, though. Shame, really.

Book 1, page 66. Harry is informed about how much work goes into becoming a wizard and about how much there is to study. The book tittles listed, while not actual books, are significant. The content Harry has to study includes: Astrology, Herbology, Astronomy (book 1, p. 133), Channeling power, how to use magick wands and practicing rituals. The titles of the books listed closely align to actual occult book.

Classic subjects of magic. Common mythology isn't evil

Book 1, p. 1Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

Book 1, page 90-94 to get to the school, people have to go through a portal and get on a train.

31-133. The rooms shift places until the students can lock them down through visualization.

The entire school of Wizardry and Witchcraft is a creative visualization and exists on the astral plane- not on the physical plane. You can't get to it unless you go through the portal at the train station. This is why the rooms in the school move around. See Role-Playing Games & Popular Occultism

"Visualization" or "locking rooms down" is never mentioned in the book. Most rooms stayed in their place, what changed was the stairs and doors. Oh, and Hogwarts was on the physical plane. The "portal" at the train station was simply a hidden door to get to the train. You can go to school without going through the train station, and Harry does so in book 2.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is organized:
  • Dumbledore (a man) (#1)) Supreme Mugwump
  • Snape (a man) (#2)
  • Professor Minerva McGonagall (a woman) (#2) Deputy Headmistress (book 1, p. 51)
Parallels any occult order:
  1. Imperitor (a man) (#1)
  2. Temple Master (a man) (#2)
  3. Cancellareous (a woman) (#2)

No one confronts the power of an Imperator. No one is more powerful than he. He rules the order.

A)Dumbledore was Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, he was Headmaster at Hogwarts.
B) Snape was Head of House, and as such was below McGonagall, who was both Head of House and Deputy Headmistress. The actual chart, which doesn't parallel your own at all, is:
(#1)Dumbledore, Headmaster
(#2)McGonagall, Deputy headmistress, Head of Gryffindor
(#3)Snape, Head of Slytherin,
(#3)Flitwick, Head of Ravenclaw
(#3)Sprout, Head of Hufflepuff

Harry learns how to cast spells. Occultists manipulate elemental spirits, demonic entities, servitors, etc., as well as circumstances and people through spells, acts of will, creative visualizations, and ritual spells for their own benefit. (destruction spells, death spells)

I've said it before, just because it has mythological elements doesn't mean it's

Book 1, p. 114: There are four houses within the Hogwarts School: Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Each one probably represents an element. Air. Earth. Water. Fire. Since Hogwarts exists on the astral plane, that takes care of the fifth element - ethers. We do not know this yet by the end of book three.

Almost every list of four anything can be shoehorned into the four elements. Ether is never mentioned in the entire series.

Book 1, 66. Harry has a spell book Grimore -- and occultist's personal book of incantations.

Again, common elements of mythology

Voldemort wants the sorcerer's stone so he can "create" a new body for himself. There really is a sorcerer's stone -- no comment on what it does or how it's used -- just know that it IS!

Oh, so you admit you are a nutjob? The Philosopher's stone doesn't exist. Trust me on this one.

In Harry Potter, the "will in action" is a strong theme that runs throughout the story line. The will in action is a direct reference tot he laws of Thelma, more specifically, the first law upon which all other laws hinge: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Nothing supersedes the will. The supreme will rules."

"Will in action" is not even remotely the same as "Do as you will". The series focuses a lot on the consequences of actions, and explains quite clearly that might doesn't make right.

Book 1, p. 53. Harry was told that his parents died in a car crass. Actually they were psychically murdered. In the occult world, people "die" by "accident" or "natural causes."

That happens in the real world too, you know.

Book 1, p.164. Hedwig- Harry's pet owl. All the students at Hogwarts get and send their messages by owl. Actually, Hedwig and all the other owls are familiar spirits. In the occult -- familiar spirits are used to convey messages from one occultist to others.

No, the owl is an owl. Patronuses, which are closer to spirits, are in fact used to send messages, but again, mythology=/=evil.

Book 1, p.130-133. Harry returns to his dormitory room through a "portrait hole." The portrait asks for a password.

Book 2, p. 300. The sink - another example of a portal and how to open it up.

Portrait hole = portal - the opening between the physical plane and the astral plane through which entities move back and forth. Portals open with the correct words.

Wait, I thought you said the school was already on the astral plan? How can you move from the physical to the astral if you are already on the astral?
Oh, and if a door that opens with the correct words is evil, then the entire concept of passwords has doomed us all to hell.

Book 1, p. 138 and Book 3, p. 2. Harry uses a quill pen, ink and parchment paper to document his magical spells. Standard occult practice -- all occultists learn to document their spells in the initial stages of their training.

He is in a magic school. He is doing his homework!

Book 1, p. The author gives a description of what is referred to as Quirrell's master.

Harry could see a face on the back of Quirrell's head.

Quirrell is strengthened by unicorn blood, the Elixir of Life (book 1, p. 293). He drinks blood.

This is a description of a real psychic vampire. The face says, "See what I have become, mere shadow and vapor. I have form only when I can share another's body. But there have always been those willing to let me into their hearts and minds." (Book 1, p. 293)

Psychic vampires are real. Drinking blood is strictly forbidden in the Scriptures.

Another example of how you are certifiably insane. Grow up and learn the difference between fact and fiction. And while we are at it, unicorn blood isn't the elixir of life, it's a cheap substitute. And considering it was a villain who was doing the blood drinking, it hardly qualifies as an endorsement of disobeying scripture.

Book 1, p. 291. "There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it." Power is the greatest central them in the occult world. There is no god and no devil in the occult world. There is ONLY POWER.

Too bad it was the main villain of the book who said that, and therefore the author is actually condemning that philosophy. Dishonesty is much more convenient than valid criticism, but not quite as compelling.

Book 1, p. "Always use the proper name for things -- fear of a name of anything increases fear of the thing itself." Harry is being instructed in how to purge fear. All emotion, in the occult world is purged out of a person. Fear could mean death.

No, fear means fear, not death or every emotion, and it's not being "purged", it's simply instructions on stopping its increase. It's basic advice on dealing with your fears instead of avoiding them.

Book 2, p. 20-21. Harry broke the decree for the restriction of underage wizardry because he had just done serious magick. He gets a reprimand. He does it again in book 3 when he attacks Aunt Marge. (p. 28-30) AKA - he broke the rules of discretion that every occultists is well aware of. Occultist NEVER break the rules of discretion.

If occultists never (sorry, NEVER) break the rules of discretion, how exactly do so many people know about occultism? By the way, the rule of discretion in the books was the Statute of Secrecy, not the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery. It was also pretty much the only way to explain why the population at large didn't know about magic. Literary devices aren't evil.

End of book 2 (p. 317, 322) A young girl gets possessed; you see a conjurative being that threatens to kill. Harry kills a certain conjured spirit (a snake) with a special sword. These passages are an indirect reference to Kaballah, the Tree of Life, the Kundalini (snake) and the Sword of Kerubum. "SELF" is the source of power.

Suuuure are. And the Basilisk wasn't a conjured spirit, it was a physical living being.

Book 2, p. 52 mentions a "Hand of Glory."

Book 3, p. 208. Hit Wizards.

These are references to items used in VERY NEGATIVE magick.

The hand of Glory is described as a Dark artifact. Not a particularly powerful one, but hey. Hit wizards are people, not items.

Book 2 explains why Voldemort is the way he was (a psychic vampire) in book one. Harry doesn't understand Voldemort until Dumbledore explains him.

In trying to protect Harry from a psychic attack on his life by Voldemort, Harry's mother took the attack on herself and she died. When she took on the full brunt to the attack, she absorbed most of the energy.

Harry absorbed some to the knowledge of Voldemort, but when the energy returned to Voldemort, it destroyed his body. That is why, in book 1, we see him as a psychic vampire -- he needs to have a host body.

Rowling gives a perfect description of the difference between demons and fallen angels on the physical plane in this example of Voldemort. She writes that Voldemort once had a body, then he didn't now he does when he attaches himself to other people. This is the way demonic entities exist in the physical world. They need a physical body in which to manifest.

Angels, holy or fallen, do not need physical bodies to manifest -- they can make their own bodies on the physical plane.

When occultists repel a psychic attack, they absorb some of the knowledge of the individual that attacked them. In Harry's case, he absorbed the ability to speak snake (and other special capacities) from Voldemort.

If the explanation is perfect, how come it never mentions anything about physical and astral planes? It had some parallels with mythology. Big deal.

Book 2, p. 314-322. Rowlings describes an occult war: Voldemort says he's the greatest sorcerer in the world and Harry says that Dumbldore is the greatest wizard in the world. Then a fawkes, a phoenix and a sorting hat show up to defend and fight for Harry. Voldemort gave Harry permission to use the tools Dumbledore sent him. Harry defeats Voldemort. Occult wars are fought on the spiritual level. This story line is straight psychic metaphor. Harry found the weakness in Voldemort's existence and capitalized on it. There are references to items used in VERY NEGATIVE magic.

It wasn't so much giving permission as mocking their uselessness. And the fight wasn't that psychic, considering the whole "sword through the mouth" and "stab it with a poisonous fang" aspects of it.

Book 3, p. 247. The Dementor's kiss. Lupin explains that when dementors wish to destroy someone utterly, they suck the soul out of the person through their mouth. "You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working."
Book 3, p. 250, 251. Hermione is reading a Rune translation.

And part where you tell us why it's wrong? You kinda forgot about that, dude.

Book 3, p. 426, 427. Harry has a conversation with Dumbldore regarding saving Pettigrew's life. Dumbledore tells Harry that when one wizard "saves another wizard's life, it creates a bond between them. This is magic at its deepest and most impenetrable." This bond and debt is called an ON in the occult world.

So thanking someone for saving your life is satanic. Gotcha.

Harry does not know that he can talk in the language of snakes. You get an inkling of this in books 1, page 28. When Harry has a conversation with the boa constrictor, he thinks the snake is talking English, when, in fact, it is Harry that is talking "snake."

The conversation with a snake comes up again in book 2, page 194. In a class titled "Defense Against the Dark Arts," a snake is ready to attack one of the members of his group, Justin, and Harry tells the snake to stop. The snake obeys immediately. People were astounded that Harry could speak snake.

Those who practice the many forms of familiar magick have the ability to communicate with animals. I.e.: horse whisperers, medicine men, etc.

And the part where he doesn't know about it, that you for some reason bothered to mention?Or was it just a distraction manoeuvre, to trick us into not noticing the fact that you don't have anything resembling a point?

Book 3, p. 28-30. Harry attacks his aunt Marge for her disparaging comments about him and his family by placing a swelling spell on her. This is a psychic attack. Harry's lightening bolt scar on his forehead is a symbol of his psychic strength. The lightening bolt is similar in nature to the occult "Sword of the Cherubim."

Too bad the scar has absolutely nothing to do with this event, and it's shape isn't particularly similar to a sword. And Cherubim are angels, you know. The concept of Cherubim with swords is mentioned in Genesis 3:24. Or is the Bible an occult book too?

Book 3, p. 133. Harry's class practices on a bogart to remove whatever fear they have. A bogart is an entity which morphs into whatever anyone is afraid of. It is a shape shifter and will change itself into "whatever it thinks will frighten us most." Bogarts, called something else in the occult world, are real. They are used in occult training as practice for conquering fear and for perfecting their craft.

No, they practice on a boggart to... guess what... learn how to fight boggarts(and dementors, in Harry's case). And they don't exist.

Book 3, p. 83. Harry has a confrontation with several dementors. These creatures are similar to vampires that can suck the positive energy out of a person. They cause a person to be confronted with their own evil and what the person fears. Harry is not successful in deriving the dementors away on his own. In book 3, p. 236-237, Lupin teachers him a spell to put a barrier between him and the dementors. In the occult, psychic vampires are similar to dementors. They feed on the emotional energy of people. Fear is a strong emotion that dementors feed on.

Wait, I thought the description of Voldemort as a being that inhabits others was a psychic vampire. Get it straight, either they possess people or they suck their emotions. Oh, and Dementors don't feed on fear, they feed on positive emotions.

In conclusion, the entire argument was based on misrepresentations and saying that because something is similar to a common element of fantasy, it indoctrinates into the occult. Funny how I managed to read through the seven books, multiple times, and not to become an evil occult wizard. Maybe it doesn't work on atheists.

That's all for today, I'll do other stuff from Kjos later. I had a nice one mocking their review of Casper on the FSTDT forums.

Edit: I forgot to mention that "Peter" (real name unknown), the author of this particular example of idiocy, claims he used to be a Temple Master at the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn before he found Jesus, and that he studied and mastered multiple kinds of magic. In a perfect world, I would be completely convinced this was a dead giveaway nothing he wrote under that persona could be serious. In a perfect world.


  1. I just got through reading KJOS attacks on Twilight Series and Christ Out of Egypt the Rice Book. I searched to see who this group was and found your blog.

    These attacks you are addressing typically come from evangelicals who are quite unfamiliar with the significance of their primary text historically. They read a group of writings which span 500+ years with 21st century, black and white, literal understanding. Many are under the impression that the Bible was handed directly from God as a complete unit. More educated portions of Christianity (ie Anglican..) tend to have less of the Chicken Little "the sky is falling" view of "the world."

    Did these crazies every read a fairy tale to their children? Oh magic there but that is not the same.

    All that to say ditto to your posts. This type of "Christian" attack shows why many people have given up on their faith. Instead of modeling Christ's example by taking care of the sick, helping the poor and embracing the out cast they spend time and money with trivial issues like this. Much easier to mind other folks business than actually following Christ's example. My thoughts.

  2. I'll never ceased to be amazed at how several modern Christians consider the main focus of their faith to be homosexuality, abortion and protecting children from fantasy books, things that are at best based on one or two references in their holy book. Yet they continually ignore Christ's exhortation to give everything you own to the poor (or whoever asks, depending on the verse you are reading), which is repeated multiple times, and is arguably the core of the message in the gospels.
    The extents to which people will follow the most absurd beliefs because "the Bible says so" but will ignore the parts that are too inconvenient are fascinating.